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Ex-five-star WR Kyle Prater transfers from USC to Northwestern

Kyle Prater AP

On the last weekend before National Signing Day 2012, Northwestern has landed itself a five-star recruit.  From the Class of 2010.

In a press release, the school announced that wide receiver Kyle Prater has decided to transfer to the Wildcats.  Prater confirmed earlier this month that he would transferring from USC after two star-crossed and injury-plagued seasons at the school.

“We’re extremely excited for Kyle to be able to come home to Chicago and join our Northwestern football family,” head coach Pat Fitzgerald said in a statement. “He is a tremendous young man from a great family and is a product of a high school program we really respect in Proviso West. Kyle’s decision to attend Northwestern made sense for everyone involved and we’re looking forward to him contributing to our program on and off the field.”

At least on the paper printed by recruiting websites, Fitzgerald has landed a tremendous talent.

Prater was a five-star member of USC’s 2010 recruiting class, the No. 1 receiver that year and the No. 3 player in the country at any position according to  Despite the hype and the athletic promise entering USC, Prater’s brief two-year tenure with the Trojans was marred by both injuries and getting buried in the rotation behind the likes of Robert Woods and Marquise Lee, partly as a result of myriad health issues.

The 6-5, 215-pound receiver was a redshirt as a true freshman in 2010, and caught just one pass for six yards this season.

Two years after his ballyhooed recruitment ended with a commitment to play football in Los Angeles, the Hillside, Ill., native will begin his collegiate career anew in Evanston.

“This is one of the best days in my life for me and my family and I’m just happy to be back close to home, my family and my support group,” Prater said. “I’d like to thank USC and their administration for my release. I have the utmost respect for USC and the coaching staff, players, fans and everybody I was in touch with there. This Northwestern degree will take me far and help me become a better person. The dynamics of the school and the team have shown me a lot and I’m just happy to be a Wildcat.”

To satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Prater will be forced to sit out the 2012 season.  The 6-5, 215-pounder will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2013.

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14 Responses to “Ex-five-star WR Kyle Prater transfers from USC to Northwestern”
  1. freemantowilliams says: Jan 28, 2012 5:20 PM

    Northwestern? ! You wildcats out there are gonna hate me but that’s like going from Katy perry to Rosie o’donnell.

  2. chitownjeff says: Jan 28, 2012 5:25 PM

    Have you watched Northwestern play? He’ll fit in with the open and fast style of offense they play. Sometimes it’s better to be a big fish and a smaller pond.. Good move..

  3. barneysbullet says: Jan 28, 2012 9:19 PM

    Notre Dame is/was pretty close to “home” too. Come on Kelly, how’d you miss this one?

  4. jkaflagg says: Jan 29, 2012 1:10 AM

    USC undoubtedly glad to release him to a Big 10 school and get a scholarship back…..

  5. pdcooper08 says: Jan 29, 2012 1:18 AM

    Since when did Notre Dame start taking SC drop outs. I remember once upon a time they wouldn’t even red shirt a kid. Now there taking X-USC players with 1 to 3 years left to play. I don’t get it?

    What happened to there tradition and standards?

  6. uscatjerseyshore says: Jan 29, 2012 8:26 AM


    One word…. “desperation”

  7. addict2sport says: Jan 29, 2012 9:31 AM

    Prater seems like a great kid. It’s unfortunate that he couldn’t stay healthy while at USC. I would have liked to see him stay and compete for playing time, and live up to the hype, but wish him nothing but the best at Northwestern. On the bright side, USC does get a scholarship to now go after someone that does want to be compete and appreciates the value of being a Trojan. Fight On!

  8. pdcooper08 says: Jan 29, 2012 11:10 PM

    @addict2sports. I totally agree. I think maybe he got more home sick then we think, and feared the competition he was facing. He was right there on the cusp of starting and backed off. Good luck to him, I wish him well with the Wildcats. Can’t wait to see G. Farmer in the mix.

  9. norcalirish says: Jan 30, 2012 7:26 AM

    @ uscatjerseyshore: For sure. *rolls eyes*

    In case you didn’t realize, it’s tough to recruit kids when you’re not buying them cars and houses.


  10. florida727 says: Jan 30, 2012 10:33 AM

    “pdcooper” and “uscat…”, you guys might want to try actually reading the article. He’s not transferring to Notre Dame. He’s transferring to NORTHWESTERN.

    I want to know why after playing only one season at USC (assuming you can call one catch for 6 yards a “season”), does he only have TWO years of eligibility remaining? He redshirted one year, and is forced to sit out another because of some idiotic rule. Case Keenum spent a decade at Houston for cryin’ out loud. Why shouldn’t this kid get his FOUR years of playing time?

  11. pdcooper08 says: Jan 30, 2012 2:41 PM

    @norcalirish: Why don’t u read all the comments prior to making your statement. I was responding to barneybulletts comment to why ND and Kelly where not jumping all over K. Prater and recruiting him. My point was, in all my life, I have never heard nor seen ND go after Juco players, or transfers and up until a short time ago, didn’t even red shirt players. They where programed to be in and out with there degrees in 4 years. Good for them. But after looking this over, they figured out the where only hurting themselves by not taking advantage of the 5th year to red shirt when a player had a season ending injury. I think that was smart there part to lighten up a little. But as far as them now taking on transfers from other Universities, I don’t understand why they now have started this practice.

    As well, you appear to not understand the whole process regarding a players eligibility. Ever player has 5 years to play 4, unless they had a season ending injury. I believe prior to the end of the 3rd or 4th game of the season. K. Prater, redshirted in 2010, then played this season as a RS Freshmen. He will transfer using his 3rd year in 2012. He played all of last year regardless to how much, he was on the field and on Special teams. So for you to comment about how idiotic the NCAA’s rule is, I think this shows you really have no idea of how the process works. C. Keenum was a totally different situation. He burned his red shirt year prior to having season ending injuries. I’m not sure if the NCAA gave him one or 2 hardship season back, but the bottom line is, he was injured and missed the majority of the season. K. Prater missed no games last year to injury. What is being claimed, is he was hurt the majority of his time at SC.

    Perhaps people are making excuses for Prater to why he didn’t do more with his talent and skills on the field. Bottom line, he no longer wants to compete at the highest level anymore, instead, he will take a few steps back and probably star at Northwestern. That’s all fine, best of luck to him.

  12. norcalirish says: Jan 31, 2012 6:53 AM

    pdcooper08 … Was that entire post directed towards me? Cuz I think you made a mistake, and probably meant to respond to somebody else.

    And ND “going after” transfers and juco kids? Not that I’m aware of…I mean, we accepted the transfer of a former 5 star player, but I’m not sure you can classify that as “going after” him…that just seems smart. And I’d be absolutely shocked if there’s even one juco kid on our roster…I’m not a recruiting expert (nor do I follow this stuff regularly) but that would really really surprise me.

    As for our graduation rates…well, look them up. Best in the country for years now.

  13. omniusprime says: Jan 31, 2012 8:54 AM

    Good riddance to this total loser, now he’ll be a total loser on a losing team. USC has too much talent for this loser to compete against. USC to win national championship this year!

  14. pdcooper08 says: Jan 31, 2012 3:12 PM

    @ Norcalirish: No it was not, that’s my bad on that one. To much Whiskey and late night hours.

    I will say though, for a fact ND does not recruit Juco kids and until the RB from SC, I had never heard of a player transferring to ND. I realize they have high standards and this is represented in there graduation rate.

    As of now, it doesn’t look as if they will be taking anymore transfers, as Prater and the Armsteads will be playing else where next year. Sorry for any confusion.

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